I was going to write a post about happiness to follow on from ‘It’s OK to be Happy’ – but the words just won’t come out right. It’s late, and I don’t want to give in and not post something tomorrow morning. I’ve not missed a deadline yet! But I need to do a bit more thinking about this – it’s one of the great joys of writing this blog, it forces me to think about what I really think.
So, instead of a post about happiness, here’s something I wrote a little while ago about something that made me happy.
I went out for a walk.
I live close to the Leeds Liverpool canal and my usual walk is along the canal and then home again via the back roads. It normally takes me about half an hour unless I stop for a drink at the café.
Today, on impulse, I decided to walk up to the park instead. I turned left out of the front door, and headed up the hill.
And, again on impulse, I decided to cross the road and take one of the side roads. I’ve lived here for 6 years, but I’d never been along this road before – never needed to, I suppose.
I walked and walked and kept on walking. Along roads and lanes I’d not walked before. It clouded over and I thought it might rain and I thought that really I ought to turn back – and then I decided not to. The rain started, but then stopped again, and the sun came out and I was glad I hadn’t turned back.
It was lovely – big houses, then farmland, views over the valley, geese with goslings, a swan with cygnets. And I just walked and walked, for no other reason but that I wanted to. Finally, I found myself back at a place I recognised, and I could have headed for home – but I didn’t.
I carried on. Off to the left this time, heading downhill, more roads that I didn’t know, but I knew that I had to come back to the canal eventually. And there it was, the canal path, but further along than I normally reach on my usual walk. I carried on a bit further – why not?
By the time I decided to turn around I’d been walking for the best part of two hours. I stuck to the canal path on the way home and reckoned it would take me an hour. I saw more goslings, eight of the tiniest ducklings you can imagine, and a very cute dog. I was tired, and my feet were aching, I’d been walking at least three hours. I’d had a truly lovely afternoon, alone with my thoughts, stretching my legs, building my strength.
I opened the front door – and there was no-one there to say, ‘You said you’d only be half an hour, where on earth have you been??’
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